I am just a blogger and don’t complain to be an expert on managing and assembling a major league ball club, but I’d like to make a few observations about the Reds 20 games into the season.
The starting pitching literally could not be worse. They rank last in the NL with a 6.11 ERA with the second place team having a 5.40 ERA. That is a lot worse than even second to worse! So far the Reds best starting pitcher has been Mike Leake as he has the only win that a Reds starter has this season. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are making 20+ million this season, and a Reds club without those two would have some $$$$ to spend on what Jocketty sees fit. Since Arroyo and Harang have not been great anyway I dont think the Reds would lose ANYTHING if they were traded and young pitchers were brought up.
I think a lot of Walt Jocketty and I think with $20 million he can do a lot. If Harang and Arroyo departed, the Reds rotation would look something like the following:
1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mike Leake (pictured)
3. Aroldis Chapman
4. Homer Bailey
5. Travis Wood
Cueto and Bailey havent been great thus far but I do not worry about them because they are still improving and have electric stuff as long as their focus and concentration is high. You cannot coach the type of talent that they were born with. Mike Leake looks like he is in the majors to stay barring a turn for the worst. Aroldis Chapman….well we know about him. My opinion is that he is ready. Finally Travis Wood showed in Spring Training that he was ready for the bigs. He almost won the 5th starters spot but just lost out to Mike Leake.
This is different from Reds fire selling as they have done occasionally in the past. ALL of these players that would be coming up are READY for the big leagues. The Reds also have Matt Maloney who is major league ready when he gets an opportunity.
Walt Jocketty can take a lesson from teams like the Marlins. The Marlins have opted to stick with young pitching for years. Guys like Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, and Ricky Nolasco have been given the vote of confidence by their managers and their organization and though at times they have struggled, they comprise a pretty good staff down in Miami. Youngster Josh Johnson is the ace of the staff and the Marlins brought him up early but he learned from struggles and is now a dominant pitcher.
Cueto needs to keep improving. He seems to ride an emotional rollercoaster while he is on the mound. He will occasionally lose confidence and concentration and will begin to overthrow. For Johnny, CONSISTENCY is the name of the game
Homer Bailey…unfortunately he was way too overhyped 2 years ago. Still though he has added a cut fastball and looked to be figuring things out last year when he finished 6-1 and was the national league pitcher of the month for september. When he walks guys and cannot throw strikes, he gets into trouble and works a high pitch count. Early this year, he has been plagued by leaving ball over the plate where hitters can drive the ball. When he can locate his pitches, he if awfully tough so for him the key if LOCATION.
I would really like to see Walt Jocketty have $20 million to improve the club. And a rotation of Cuetto, Leake, Chapman, Bailey, and Wood would be awfully exciting. Up and down but really intriguing. Not to mention Chapman would sell some serious tickets. We’ll see. For the foreseeable future Arroyo and Harang are here. Hopefully they will be effective and the Reds will be able to win!
Let me clear up just a few things that I said toward the end of last year on this blog. I was fairly ********** when I wrote some entries last year.
I would like to rescind a couple of statements:
Walt Jocketty is a GOOD GM not a bad one like I said. He did a great job filling holes this offseason.
The Reds have a very strong minor league system now thanks to some good work in this last 5 or 6 years to improve there (Wayne Krivsky actually helped a lot in this department).
The rotation ought to be:
5. Bailey (or Owings would be fine)
I am glad Corey Patterson is long gone!
I am optimistic and do not really think the Reds are the worst directed team in baseball. I like the current ownership and Baker and Jocketty.
The worst directed team, I would say, is the Nationals (Former GM Jim Bowden is a killer to any organization).
The writer of the blog District Boy is absolutely right. The Cincinnati Reds front office is now definitely the worst in baseball. If they think that Cueto, Volquez, Votto, and Bruce are enough good players to depend on for the future then they are idiots.
Let me just name a few reasons the Reds team and ownership is pathetic:
1-Corey Patterson is still in the majors. He could not play on any other team in the majors. Chris Dickerson needs to be in the bigs NOW because he could be the center fielder of the future.
2-Josh Fogg is still in the rotation.-Darryl Thompson or Ramon Ramirez ought to be in the majors pitching. They have paid their dues in the minors and the management needs to find out if they can pitch in the majors.
3-Walt Jocketty is just not a good GM.
4-Dick Pole is not a good pitching coach. Mark Berry (3rd base coach) and Brook Jacoby (hitting coach) also ought to be fired.
5-Brandon Phillips is great but is the worst cleanup hitter in baseball. He does not come close to comparing to Prince Fielder, Aramis Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Berkman, Albert Puhols or Josh Hamilton etc.
6- They dropped David Ross who was also awful but was the best catcher they had. Javier Valentin has an awful on base percentage and you cannot even afford to put him in the field becuase he is such a bad defensive catcher. Ross could atleast throw out a decent percentage of base runners
7-The Reds need to build for the future and quit lying to themselves saying they still want to win now because that is just a LIE.
Their lineup the rest of the way ought to look like:
Shut down Harang and hopefully he will come back better next year. Good Lord! I say this just becuase I end every entry this way- Go Reds!-but I say it half heartedly